Brian Kuns

Brian Kuns


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Arbetar vid Kulturgeografiska institutionen
Telefon 08-674 78 76
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Rum X 313
Postadress Kulturgeografiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Please look at my English pages.
Vänligen titta på mina engelska sidor.


Jag undervisar i geografisk informationssytem (GIS) och i hållbar utveckling och globalisiering. 


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • Artikel Beyond Coping
    2016. Brian Kuns. Sociologia Ruralis

    This paper empirically investigates rural, small-scale household farming in post-Soviet southern Ukraine, focusing on a particular group of households that have managed to intensify their production beyond subsistence without help from large farms. Large-farm support for small-scale household agricultural production in the former Soviet Union is generally considered necessary for small-scale household farming, so the absence of this support is noteworthy. The conditions of this intensification are explored and mapped out. Further, this intensification is related to discussions in the peasant study literature on the general viability of intensive smallholder production. While the investigated farms do present some sustainability concerns, this paper concludes that this production is not less viable than large-scale agricultural production. The main future challenge is how upcoming agrarian reforms will affect smallholders, particularly with respect to formalising informal resource use. 

  • 2016. Brian Kuns, Oane Visser, Anders Wästfelt. Journal of Rural Studies 45, 199-217

    Situated in the global discussion on large-scale land acquisitions, this paper examines the poor performance of Nordic owned, publicly traded, very large-scale farms (agroholdings) in Russia and Ukraine. In depth study of concrete examples of this emerging farm organization is still rare. This paper investigates the impact of the financialization of agriculture on the performance, agricultural and otherwise, of such farm companies, which is also an emerging field of inquiry. In other words, this paper seeks to go beyond discussion of land-grabbing and return to an older question concerning large-scale farming in developing country settings: is it even successful? In unique, exploratory research, the authors have gone inside these companies through interviews and attending shareholder meetings. Also, the authors have examined the discourse found in press accounts and corporate documents, the latter an underutilized source in research on corporate mega-farms. We find that finance, usually asserted as an advantage for such large-scale farms, proved in important respects to be incompatible with farming in the investigated companies, as it led to the initial prioritization of short-term speculative strategies over longer-term production-oriented strategies. We further find that investors initially failed to appreciate the unique climatic and other local challenges presented by agriculture, compared to other economic endeavors. Finally we note that these corporations are struggling to demonstrate economies of scale. Our results suggest that, unless conditions change, stock market financed large-scale farming companies are unlikely to play an important role in future direct food production in the region.

  • 2018. Brian Kuns. Water Alternatives 11 (3), 866-892

    This paper examines irrigation in post-communist Southern Ukraine, mapping the continuity of late Soviet investments in centre pivot irrigation technology in the post-Soviet period, but also situating this large-scale irrigation in a regional context where there are significant, but uneven, changes in water access. Framing irrigation change within long-term environmental history, this paper argues that post-Soviet developments are the consequence of a collapsing modernisation project. An Actor Network approach is used to explore the ontological politics surrounding possible alternative uses of irrigated farm fields, as well as the 'agency' of centre pivot irrigation technology, which 'acts' to undermine landowners' rights. This is noted as ironic, because the technology was originally imported from the United States during the Cold War, while post-communist land reform was influenced by the Washington Consensus. Uneven water access near the area with centre pivot irrigation is explored. Understanding this uneven geography puts post-Soviet agrarian change in Ukraine in perspective, identifying the disappearance of collective farms as a factor driving changing water access. The paper concludes that 20th century Soviet investments in irrigation are potentially more sustainable than comparable investments in other countries - as in the American West - complicating the conventionally negative view of Soviet environmental management.

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Senast uppdaterad: 22 mars 2019

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